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  • The Birds

    The Birds

    ★★★★★

    Another note about this film: I find it fascinating how powerful it is in spite of the fact that the effects often draw attention to themselves as effects. Hitchcock used real birds in the production - lots of them - but he used mechanical birds and puppet birds, too, and the birds, depending on the shot, often do look mechanical: the motions are too slow, too jerky. Also, the blood is too red. It looks like paint. And there's that…

  • Moana

    Moana

    ★★★½

    Family movie night - and we finally caught up with this one.

    My 8-year old daughter is especially taken with the film: "It's definitely my favorite," she says, and she's been drawing Moana and images of the heart stone all weekend.

    My 13-year old daughter - the one who sings, dances, and acts, and wants to go on Broadway - has been belting out "How Far I'll Go," and I feel sure it will feature in a voice recital in…

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  • Love & Friendship

    Love & Friendship

    ★★★★½

    Love & Friendship opened in Bellingham yesterday to a happy crowd of - wait for it - older women. Genuinely puzzled, my daughters, whom I had brought with me to the screening, commented on the sea of graying feminine heads. Jane Austen, so the perception goes, is just for the ladies.

    I'm a fan of a number of Jane Austen adaptations, the Andrew Davies/Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice, of course, as well as the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee collaboration, Sense and…

  • The Revenant

    The Revenant

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Q. Why did the Native son need to die?
    A. Because the white man needs drama.

    Q. Why did the Native wife need to die?
    A. Because the white man needs drama. And an exotic dream guide.

    Q. Why did the cute Native who catches snowflakes on his tongue need to die?
    A. Because the bad guys need to be real bad and real racist because the sensitive white man needs drama.

    Q. Why did the Natives attack the injured,…